Getting excited about the Worlds this week and I’m not even participating. My friend, coworker, and primary training partner, Will, is competing early this Friday in the purple belt division. I’ve been around more for this build up, and have enjoyed seeing the process.
Some of the differences I’ve seen the closer we get to Worlds is, that over all he’s better prepared. His weight hasn’t been an issue, and with no kids during the week, it’s provided extra training for him. Not saying he hasn’t had his hiccups because he has. We all have them, some of them are more visual, and some are more hidden and shielded from others.
For me it’s been a huge plus to train with someone who’s training for the Worlds. The obvious is that he’s always down to train, whether it be rolling, or doing reps, he’s always there. In knowing this I’ve committed to being around him as much as I can, sometimes just watching his movements is a huge benefit. I get to learn hand placements, and where his weight is positioned. It’s gives me vital information for both my attack when rolling with others, and my defenses when rolling with Will.
Now to backtrack a bit. Not too long ago, Will had made a statement in which he wanted JD to be around more for training, due to being similar in weight and JD’s skill level. JD is one of the most liked at the academy, a really skilled blue belt who I myself look up to. I told him once when I was a white belt, that I hoped to be more like him in skill, as I grew further into the discipline.
The statement that Will made wasn’t disrespectful, it wasn’t a jab at myself or any of the other training partners he’s had. It was harmless, and I never felt disrespected or hurt by the it. My mind knows that, but my competitive nature doesn’t. I took it as, “Oh OK, lets see how he feels in a few weeks.”
I started paying attention to tendencies, small give a ways that only a dedicated training partner would even notice. The intensity of our sparing sessions increased, we each have specific game plans, so alot of our rounds feel like a choreographed routine. There is no way, that I think I’m better than Will on any given day. But like an insergent, right now the plan is to win the smaller battles, making it so difficult for him that he gives in a bit and makes a mistake.
I want to be a black belt one day. Being a world champion would be great too, but most importantly, I want to be the training partner people ask for when they want to build up for the worlds.